DCH: COVID cases, hospitalizations on the decline

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Here’s some encouraging news on the COVID-19 front: There’s a consistent downward trend in hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases around the nation.

That includes Alabama. Last month, DCH Health System was treating 165 COVID-positive inpatients across its three campuses. As of Oct. 8, that number is down to 74.

“If you look back just a few weeks ago, we were well into the hundreds, and even a little further back from that we were at 165, so the numbers have been coming down,” said DCH System Marketing and Communications Vice President Andy North.

So what’s behind the decline?

“I think it’s time,” North said. “People have gotten the virus. They have gotten sick with it or they have gotten vaccinated, and those two things have really increased the number of people who have the antibodies. Because of that, people are less susceptible to the disease and fewer people are needing hospital care.”

Despite the good news, it’s not time to let your guard down, North said.

“Back in January we were at 199 COVID-positive inpatients and we thought that was the top of the top,” he said. “The numbers went down substantially, down well below 10 at one point, and they came back up”

North said there are a lot of variables, but perseverance is key.

“We really need to be vigilant,” he said. “We need to continue to wear masks when we are indoors and in groups of people where we cannot socially distance, and we need to get vaccinated ”

The biggest challenge at DCH is no longer treating a mass influx of patients, North said. It’s ensuring their patients have adequate care despite low staff numbers.

“We’ve struggled to get the staff we need, or to maintain the staff to take care of these patients,” North said. “We’re really encouraging the community if you know a nurse, CRNA or respiratory therapist, encourage them to come work for DCH. We would love to have them even if it is part-time because we need the help.”

You can view job opportunities available at DCH right here.

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